Mostar’s surroundings

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe reached Mostar at 8pm after a quite draining drive through the Croatian &Bosnian mountains. By then we only had energy remaining to check into our hostel and not much more. We were greeted by a lovely couple, that invited us into their home, their terrace and their garden. They had an amazing garden, with a direct view onto the turquoise river. After chilling there for a while, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAwith a glass of their friend’s home made wine, we were finally lively enough again to attempt planning the next day. Very quickly we realized, that our “bus-based-travel” approach only works if there are buses and that many of the things we wanted to see, don’t really lie close to any bus stations. The OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAhostel owner offered to be our tour-guide for a day (against a small compensation) and asked us where we wanted to go. What a big mistake! We wanted to go everywhere, obviously! Including a few places we didn’t even know existed up to him mentioning them.
Feasibility and Reality constrained us into making a few choices and we finally settled on no less than 5 separate locations, after our guide-to-be assured us this would be fine. So the next morning, we met at 10am to set of in direction of Blagaj, a small Dervish  monastery situated at, what we thought was the source of a large river. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe would later learn, that this is not technically a source, the river is merely reappearing there after having gone underground in Trebinje. This does not make the river gushing out of the OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAmountain any less imposing, of course. The view is beautiful, the rivers are blue, the sky is too, the trees are green and the dervishes house is white.
Our next stop was a small castle on top of the afore-mentioned: Stepjan grad. This fortress seems to have been independent for a long time and even withstood ottoman attacks in the beginning.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Nowadays there’s only ruins remaining, but they are beautiful ruins, with some remaining windows and arches to explore. Lots of blossoming flowers and insects give you additional motives to enjoy. On top of this, the elevation of the fortress allows for a beautiful view into the valley and onto the river.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter our adventure in Stepjan grad, we safely returned to the roads and from there we drove on to Radimlja. A medieval necropolis in the east of Mostar. The tombstones have some very unique and interesting depictions on them and we enjoyed walking and observing the different motives. I was a bit baffled by the fact, that a road had been built right through the necropolis, a quarter of the stones OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAremaining on the one side, the rest on the other. As everybody knows, the grass is always greener on the other side, so the depictions on the other side off the road, obviously, were also morOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAe interesting than the ones we were seeing on our side of the street.
Onwards we went to Počitelj, another castle/village complex.  We stopped at an old lady’s place where we got to taste some of the finest fruit-syrups and from there on we walked through the ancient town. Then we went to the only remaining tower of the castle looking out over the river and the old town at the foot of the hill.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Our final stop was Kravice, a set of huge waterfalls in the Trebizsat river, which also runs through Mostar. They are mesmerizing, as all waterfalls tOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAend to be for me, but it is more than just the waterfalls, there’s a rich life of different dragonflies, fishes and plants all over the place to be discovered. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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